Don’t be ashamed about finding the ocean scary at all — it truly is! In fact, we know more about the Moon than what’s in our ocean. Perhaps that’s why surfing may sound super daunting for some. However, don’t let fear get in the way of things you want to try. If you’ve been wanting to give surfing a shot; this is your sign to go for it! It’s really not as difficult as you might think it is. All you need is the drive, commitment, and patience. Many experienced surfers will tell you that it’s pretty easy to get started and pick up basic surfing skills when you first start out.
Flashy magazines and indie films have hyped up the surfing lifestyle so much that it definitely created an appeal to many. Just remember to shed any expectations when you get started — you won’t be tackling the huge waves during your first few paddles or become an expert overnight. The important part is to have fun and enjoy what you are doing. You may not get it at first go, and that is totally fine; there is no pressure to become a professional after a few tries. Before you get started, we’ll talk about what else to expect when you go surfing for the first time to hopefully help you decide if you want to take on surfing.
Be Fit as a Fiddle
We’re not exaggerating when we say this will literally wipe you out. Surfing is definitely a physically demanding exercise, considering you would have to do a lot of paddling, diving, and balancing on your board. Not to mention that the first few times could be taxing on your body, as you would have to keep practicing. But if you’ve been looking for a new exercise regimen to get in better shape, surfing could be the right fit. If you haven’t already, we highly recommend setting aside an hour for exercise every few days or so to build up your stamina. You could even split it into going for a jog, doing some cardio, and then finishing your routine off with a swim in the ocean. Not only will you have the stamina to endure long hours out in the ocean, but it can also help you gauge how much work you need to put in before fully committing to surfing.
Be Able to Swim
You don’t have to be as competent as an Olympic swimmer, but having basic knowledge and experience will suffice. This is because you’ll be out in the ocean for the most part, and you would have to cope with swimming back to your board or the beach when you fall off. Sometimes, when the waves are great for surfing, they could be rough and dangerous for anyone who does not have any experience swimming. You will definitely have a couple of wipeouts and challenges standing on your board, especially when you are first starting out. For your own safety, add swimming to your exercise routine to at least get the basic techniques right like treading water. You could definitely start small at either the shallow side of the beach or head to the local public pool to get your butterfly strokes perfected.
Decide if You Need Surf Lessons
If you tend to prefer learning things on your own, that’s totally fine. If you just want to surf recreationally and aren’t too pressed about learning everything, you could just sit back and learn from online tutorials. Many regular surfers picked up the sport just by copying other surfers at the beach and are doing just fine. If you prefer in-person guidance instead, that is fine too. Surf lessons could come in handy if you really would like first-hand tutorials from experienced surfers who could help you cultivate essential surfing skills that you might not get from just looking at others. If you’re worried about your safety as well, surf lessons could provide you that peace of mind that you are constantly supervised and only given instruction to do what your instructor knows you are capable of doing. In addition, some surf lessons might even organize a regimen to help keep you on your toes. If you like routine and structure, perhaps a surf lesson would be the optimal and safer choice to make.
Basic Surf Skills
To get started, we recommend that newbies use bigger boards and tackle smaller and broken waves to test out your balance. It’s okay if you find yourself falling off often, just remember to not be too hard on yourself and keep on practicing. It’s most certainly not easy to prop yourself up on a board atop moving water. It takes a couple of tries to get used to the instability and to find your footing when surfing. Many have said that balance is quite a tough aspect of surfing, and could vary from getting the hang of it after a couple of waves, or take hours to succeed. Don’t worry, this isn’t a sign that you should call it quits, everyone has to start somewhere! You’ll definitely see results if you commit the hours.
Once you’ve mastered balance, the next is learning how to move with the wave. At this point, you should be having an easier time as you have already mastered the basic surfing techniques. A common surfing technique is called the “bottom-turn”, which refers to turning at the bottom of the wave which will propel the surfer sufficient speed to trim the waves. And voila, you’re a surfer! If you think about it, surfing isn’t that difficult. It really boils down to mastering paddling, finding a wave, and standing up.
To wrap things up, we hope this article has come in handy in giving you further insight into surfing. Like skateboarding, cycling, or any type of sport, surfing just needs your commitment. Trust us, it will be a rewarding experience and a lifelong skill that you just developed. So get out there and tackle your first wave!